On July 3, Native Foods opened on Ocean Park in Santa Monica, spreading its vegan menu (and meatless reubens) to a third L.A. location, this time in the former home of Pizza Fusion. Eater reports that this is part of the Palm Springs-sprung chain's goal to open fifteen new stores in the U.S. this year, adding on to local addresses currently serving Newport, Costa Mesa, Westwood, and Culver City. The bloggers at SuperVegan took an early look at the place and note that Tanya Petrovna, the chain's founding chef, is no longer with Native Foods.
Apparently, Chicago's Kendall Huff is now leading the menus here, while SuperVegan alleges the chain has been taken over by some non-vegan Chicago lawyers who are leading the rapid expansion. Rumors of a lawsuit between the two parties are flying.
In more Native news, the place wasn't serving its tempeh at first out of solidarity with a salmonella-infected batch from Tennessee, a meatless mirror to the love East Coasters poured on California as the foie ban loomed. Maybe vegans and foie gras fanatics aren't that different after all?